Juventus’ ambitions in bringing top players made me sign, says Higuain

Turin, July 29 (IANS) Newly-signed Juventus star striker Gonzalo Higuain said that the Italian football champions’ ambitions — reflected in the latest signings of highly-valued players — impelled him to leave Napoli.

Higuain on Tuesday signed a five-year deal for a third costliest transfer fee of 90 million euros ($98.9 million).

At the Turin club, the Argentine became the fifth player after Miralem Pjanic, Danie Alves, Medhi Benatia, and Marko Pjaca as new additions, marking one of the busiest summers of Juventus.

“The ambition shown over the summer was an important factor for me. Combined with the desire of the players already here, this was an offer I could not refuse,” he told Juventus website on Thursday.

“The depth of this squad is one of its greatest strengths and the competition for places all over the field is a massive advantage for us.”

The 28-year-old’s departure from Napoli had been surrounded by great expectations and controversy as Juventus are their historical rivals. Moreover, Higuain scored 36 goals in 35 Serie A games — breaking Gunnar Nordahl’s 66-year-old record in the process last season.

Higuain also became the most expensive transfer in Juventus history, as their previous top expenditure was the $55 million they paid Serie A rival Parma for goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon in 2001. Buffon now captains the Turin giants.

On the back of a record-breaking goal tally last time out, Higuain now has his sights set on silverware.

“I chose this team above all because they are an excellent side with a very exciting project. I’m humbled by the efforts made by the club to bring me here and I’m looking forward to a successful season,” the former Real Madrid forward said.

“Everyone knows what Juventus are all about. The whole setup here is based on winning and they are used to doing so. This club is built for success. I can’t wait to see what I can achieve here and to make the most of this opportunity,” the Argentine added.

“I hope to repay the faith of the club’s directors and of course to demonstrate my value in the coming season with Juventus. The efforts to bring me here were truly humbling and it is up to me to show my worth to my new fans.”

Having received a warm welcome from new team-mates Alves, Mario Mandzukic, Claudio Marchisio and Stephan Lichtsteiner, Higuain was also treated to a video message by compatriot Paulo Dybala, a sign of an already burgeoning relationship on and off the field.

“I’ve enjoyed linking up with Paulo on international duty and really appreciated the video he sent to welcome me! He is a fantastic player and I’m excited to see what we can achieve together, hoping we can move the club forward in the coming years,” Higuain signed off.

–IANS

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